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Jakarta pledges support to end peace pact review

Bali – Indonesia has committed to help the Philippine government end the tripartite review process on the 1996 final peace agreement with the Moro National Liberation Front in the wake of a three-week siege in Zamboanga City, President Benigno Aquino III said on Tuesday. As this developed, Aquino said a new case for illegal possession of explosives will be filed against MNLF founding chairman Nur Misuari for the standoff that left more than a hundred people dead. The MNLF attacked Zamboanga City amid government efforts to end the review process, which the rebels interpreted to be a termination of the entire peace process. “They reiterated their dedication to help us finish the review process, which is one of the things that was asked for by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation,” Aquino said after meeting with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudyohono and Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa at the sidelines of the leaders’ summit of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation here in Nusa Dua. Indonesia is the current chairman of the OIC-Peace Committee on the Southern Philippines which brokered the 1996 FPA and is facilitating the tripartite review process. The MNLF had lamented that it had been left out of the peace process with the government focused on negotiations with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.  Misuari also declined to join the Transition Commission that would draft the Bangsamoro Basic Law. Misuari was earlier charged with violations of the International Humanitarian Law. State prosecutors are also reviewing the testimonies against Misuari for rebellion and sedition charges. Aquino said the government is still investigating reports that someone may have financed the Zamboanga City siege. “I am not confirming that there is a financier, just to be clear. What I know is that the people who were arrested either said they were promised P10,000 pesos or they were given P10,000 plus a rifle,” he said. Meanwhile, Chief Inspector Ariel Huesca of the Police Regional Office 9, said they had arrested Abduraquib Hussien y Kurais,  an alleged ntelligence officer of Nur Misuariís MNLF faction. Hussien was arrested at around 4:16 p.m. on October 5 in Puerto Princesa. Senior Police Officer 2 Mario Rule Lafuente of Police Station 6 documented the arrest while Insp. Nathaniel Malamo Florenso of the regional Public Safety Battalion 3 (RPSB3) led the operation. Lafuente said Hussien admitted to being an MNLF member loyal to Misuari. Huesca said Hussien was still under processing to find out if he was among MNLF fighters who joined Habier Malik and other commanders during the siege that lasted for almost three weeks of intense fighting with government forces. The siege resulted to the death of at least more than 200 persons, mostly MNLF fighters, soldiers, policemen and innocent civilians caught in crossfire. Malik, who served as Misuariís ground commander, remained missing. With  Florante Solmerin  
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